• Movie Tickets



    Movie tickets for Reading and Regal Edwards theatres will be available for sale at the East County Teachers UniServ office until Tuesday, December 23rd. Only payments made with cash or check will be accepted.

  • Winter Break Schedule

    The East County Teachers UniServ office will be closed for Winter Break from Wednesday, December 24th to Friday, January 2nd. We will resume our regular business hours from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm on Monday, January 5th.

    Have a safe and happy holiday.

  • Campaign 2014


    Voting Clip Art

    Thank you GEA Members for Voting!
    Thank you GEA 2014 Election Volunteers for your work! You helped our candidates win!
    Thank you parents and community members for voting for Gary Woods and Rob Shield!


Recent Articles

Bargaining Update & Holiday Message

Hello GEA Members,

On behalf of the GEA Representative Council and GEA Executive Board, we hope that your holiday will be restful and rejuvenating.

Please review the GEA Bargaining Update below this message.

Fran Zumwalt
GEA President


December 17, 2014 - Bargaining Update

GEA Team: Linda Pierce (Bargaining Chair), Fran Zumwalt (GEA President), Bryan Ross, Doug Coffin, James Messina (V.P.), Jay Tweet (Teasurer), Angela Sciacqua-Smith, Laura Bowen (CTA)

District Team: Steve Sonnich (Assoc Supt, HR), Rick Roberts, Dan McDowell, Theresa Kemper

GEA met with district representatives from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM.

1. Professional Development Management / Evaluation System

• Representatives from TrueNorthLogic came to present:

o A professional development management system where teachers could register and track PD opportunities.
o An evaluation system where bargaining unit members and the district would track all steps of the evaluation (pre-observation meeting, observation, post-observation meeting) based on current evaluation contract language with online reports.

• GEA asked about other modules that the district was considering, specifically if there were plans to move to a value-added style of evaluation and the district claimed that there are no plans for that.

2. Infinite Campus

• GEA expressed concern about the time it takes to enter grades into Infinite Campus due to slow loading times.
• GEA expressed concerns about other IC features including (but not limited to) seating charts, attendance reports (not including dates), printing student progress reports, A-G courses/ tracking and more.
• GEA also expressed a concern about how GEA member concerns about IC are addressed and resolved.
• The district will come up with a process for submitting change requests to Infinite Campus and will report back to GEA.

3. Cal Grant Course Identification

• GEA expressed concerns that counselors are being asked to identify courses that meet the Cal Grant requirements.
• The district claimed that counselors were simply shown how to check on Cal Grant identification in Infinite Campus.
• The district agreed that the Curriculum Department would identify which courses meet the requirements of Cal Grant.

4. Responsible Use Policy

• The district suggested that a committee be formed of GEA and district representatives to create a RUP for all staff members.
• GEA agreed to a RUP committee and that the draft RUP be brought back to the bargaining table.

5. Counselors Packing and Unpacking

• The district agreed to pay counselors for Prop U and H packing and unpacking.

6. Substitutes

• The district is considering an attendance incentive package, where schools will receive extra site funding if staff members use fewer sick/PN days.
• GEA suggested that this is a terrible idea, as it will cause conflict on campus, mistrust of administrators and may result in sick employees coming to work. Health care professionals strongly recommend that people NOT go to work when ill. The purpose of sick leave is to insure the good health of all employees.

7. Bereavement

• GEA proposed that language be added to the contract making sure that miscarriages are covered under bereavement, and the district agreed.

President's Update: December 4, 2014

Hello GEA Members,

This message is being sent to you - AS A CORRECTION - for a previous email that updated you on AB 420 - a new Ed Code law on student discipline for schools.

AB 420 passed both the State Assembly and the State Senate, and was signed by Governor Brown.

AB 420 changes Education Code with regard to disciplining students for defiance of school personnel.

Starting January 1, 2015, and until The summer of 2018, (for just over three years) DEFIANCE cannot be used to expel students from high school. However, during this three year period, AB 420 PRESERVES the power of teachers to suspend a student for defiance from their individual class room. **School principals may suspend a student from school for defiance of school officials and/or for the disruption of instruction to other students.**

Attached you will find the actual Ed Code 48900 with changes highlights by AB 420. In addition you can read the CTA Lobbyist's summary report on this new law below:


AB 420 (Dickinson): Student Discipline – Keeping Students in School

CTA worked with a coalition of civil rights organizations, education stakeholders, and lawmakers to limit the use of out-of-school student discipline, while preserving a teacher’s ability to maintain control over their classrooms.

  1. Jerry Brown has signed AB 420 and the law will take effect Jan. 1, 2015.

After a great deal of member deliberation at State Council, CTA secured amendments to AB 420 that preserve a teacher’s right to suspend a student from the classroom as outlined in Education Code 48910. CTA believes that any decision to suspend, expel, exclude, or exempt students from school should be used only as a last resort and only when psychological, emotional or physical safety is compromised. School and district policies should be consistent with sound educational philosophy. Further, any legislation that diminishes the rights of a teacher to remove disruptive students from the classroom environment when deemed necessary by the teacher should be opposed.


Under existing law, students can receive out-of-school student discipline for a long list of reasons outlined in Education Code 48900. New data that is being collected and published by the California Department of Education is highlighting the fact that racial disparities are arising in the treatment of students under one provision -- (48900k – willful defiance or classroom disruption).

The Local Control Funding Formula makes education communities accountable for the school climate they create, as measured in part by rates of student suspension and expulsion. A baseline of data is set for measuring progress and goals for improvement for all student subgroups, with specific actions required to reach those goals. AB 420 creates a three-year policy experiment encouraging school districts throughout California to establish alternative programs to suspension and expulsion in order to keep students in school. These programs require personnel, training for all stakeholders in the education community and a commitment of resources.

AB 420 Highlights:

AB 420 eliminates “willful defiance or classroom disruption” as a reason to expel a student from school.

AB 420 eliminates “willful defiance or classroom disruption” as a reason to suspend a student from school in grades kindergarten through third grade.

AB 420 preserves the ability of a teacher to suspend a child from the classroom at any grade level for “willful defiance or classroom disruption.”

AB 420 sunsets in the summer of 2018, providing some time to evaluate the policy shift.

When a child is sent out of the classroom so that others can continue to learn, our collective challenge is to leverage new resources provided by the Local Control Funding Formula to put programs in place at the school to help the child re-engage, while supporting the teacher’s efforts in the classroom. Keeping kids in school will help students thrive. It will also improve school’ Average Daily Attendance enabling the state to send more resources.



Fran Zumwalt
GEA President

Message from the President: December 1, 2014

Hello GEA Members,

As we reflect on Thanksgiving -- know that the GEA Reps and Exec Board and V.P. James Messina and I are grateful for your work and support in the election of GEA's endorsed candidates -- Rob Shield and Gary Woods -- to the Grossmont School Board.

The success of this election allows us to focus on enforcing and improving our contract. I will send you an update with details on this in the next few days.

And finally -- Please read the following article which appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune -- a Tribute to Dick Hoy -- who is retiring from serving on the Grossmont School Board. We are grateful for his work and leadership on behalf of students and district employees. He will be missed!


Trustee Dick Hoy says goodbye to the Grossmont District

By Karen Pearlman Nov. 13, 2014

EAST COUNTY — Dick Hoy, a governing board member for the Grossmont Union High School District since 2006, said goodbye to the district at Thursday's board meeting.

Hoy, a San Diego State alumnus who taught at Santana from 1970-2001, said, "It's been the ride of a lifetime, and I've really enjoyed it."

Hoy has been the Santana Sultans football team game-night announcer for more than 30 years, and during the board meeting, he was feted by a group of Santana students and teachers. After a glowing speech by the school's ASB president Hayley Sampson, Hoy was presented with a plaque that will go in the school's press box, which will be dedicated to Hoy.

"One of the greatest gifts that Mr. Hoy gives to Santana High is his time announcing football games," the plaque reads. "Mr. Richard 'Dick' Hoy refers to the Santana football field as the 'Santana Super Sultan Dome' - we refer to him as Mr. Wonderful."

Hoy also got a clock from the board, and trustee Jim Stieringer also presented Hoy with his own gift, a plaque of a face of Montezuma, in honor of his alma mater. Hoy is a dedicated Aztecs sports fan.

Hoy, a lifelong East County resident and La Mesa resident since 1961, attended elementary school in Lemon Grove and graduated from Helix High School. He has been married for 47 years to JoAnne, who was at the meeting along with one of his two children, Rebecca Short, an English history teacher at Santana.

Hoy earned a bachelor's degree from SDSU with a major in social science, also obtaining a masters degree in history from SDSU. After earning a teaching credential in 1967, he taught for 34 years - three years at Lemon Grove Junior High and the final 31 years as an American history teacher at Santana.

Since retirement, he has served as a coordinator for the Grossmont District’s Academic League and Decathlon program and as a support provider for new teachers. He said he would continue to announce football games and be part of the decathlon program. He said he will stay busy as a board member of the California Retired Teachers Association, but will miss his Grossmont board member status.

"I'll miss not being part of the good education going on in this district," Hoy said. "We do a really good job here."

Grossmont Superintendent Ralf Swenson called Hoy "one of the finest board members I've ever worked with."

"We are both former educators and we've had a lot of conversations about teaching careers," Swenson said. "I taught history and it's nice to have a person who's had that kind of a background at a board level. Beyond that, he's one of the finest men I've ever known. He has a high level of integrity, fairness and compassion, all qualities I think make for a great public servant. He will be missed."

Gary Woods, who will take Hoy's spot as Grossmont trustee after the Nov. 4 election and who previously served with Hoy on the board from 2008-12, spoke in front of the board to express his appreciation for Hoy.

"Dick Hoy has been a good model of good governance, graciousness and putting students first, an encourager," Woods said, then turned to Hoy and added, "You were about cooperation and collaboration, and for that I want to thank you."

Board member Jim Kelly, recently re-elected to the board for the fourth time, said he appreciated Hoy's demeanor, which has kept things light during some heated board moments.

"Dick is the consummate gentleman, unbelievably principled and totally collegial," Kelly said. "He never gets mad, he never gets personal, he's respectful of everyone. In every situation, he has been a fanastic representative for the Grossmont District."


We have much to be thankful for. I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and restful.

Wishing you the best for the holidays,

Fran Zumwalt
GEA President

Bargaining Update: November 13, 2014

GEA Team: Linda Pierce (Bargaining Chair), Fran Zumwalt (GEA President), Bryan Ross, Doug Coffin, James Messina, Jay Tweet, Angela Sciacqua-Smith

District Team: Steve Sonnich (Assoc Supt, HR), John Rajcic, Robin Ballarin, Maria Vidal-Fowler

GEA met with district representatives from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

1. EL Coordinator

  • The district brought information on EL release periods (actual current release periods compared to district budgeted release periods).
  • The district proposed that all EL Coordinators receive 1 period of release per site, with the exception of ECVHS getting 5 periods of release.
  • GEA proposed that EL coordinators be paid at their hourly rate for meetings outside of the contract day beginning July 1.
  • GEA also proposed that EL coordinators be given release periods based on the number EL and RFEP students in their program:
    • 1 release per 21 students up to 99 students
    • 2 periods for programs with between 100 and 199 students.
    • 3 periods for programs with over 199 to 299 students etc.

2. Infinite Campus Coaches

  • GEA proposed that Infinite Campus Coaches receive $500 compensation for the first semester, and two coaches at each site receive $1000 for the second semester.
  • GEA proposed that Tech Coordinators receive an increase to their stipend from $1500 to $3000 for the current year due to an increase in duties related to Infinite Campus.

3. GATE Coordinator

  • GEA proposed that GATE Coordinators be paid a stipend of $800 plus $.50 per duplicated student count from AP and Honors classes.
  • The district proposed adding the current compensation ($800 plus about $.43 per duplicated student) to the contract.

4. Benefits

  • The district agreed to pay the increases in health benefits to maintain the district paid 100% employee only costs, and the district paid 80% dependent coverage costs - valued at $2.6 million more than the district paid last year.
  • Monthly deductions are attached.

5. MOU

  • The district and GEA agreed to the following terms:
    • The attached healthcare rates would go into effect for 2015.
    • Current compensation practice for GATE Coordinators would be unchanged, but would be memorialized in an MOU.
    • All IC coaches would receive $500 for the first semester.
    • Two IC coaches per site will be asked to perform additional duties during the spring semester for an additional $1000.
    • Tech Coordinators, due to additional duties with the implementation of Infinite Campus, will receive an additional $1500 stipend this year.
    • Tech Coordinator duties and stipend for next year will be bargained in 2015, along with IC coaches (if the position is deemed necessary) for 2015-16 and beyond.
    • EL Coordinators be paid at their hourly rate for meetings outside of the contract day.
    • The district and GEA will continue to discuss EL Coordinator release periods in the spring.

Other topics not yet discussed due to lack of time included (but were not limited to) Substitutes, Responsible Use Policy, PBIS Coordinators, Four and Nine Week D & F Notices, and several more items.


2014  2015 Tenthly Payroll Deductions

Alpine Unification and the Grossmont District School Board Elections

Alpine Unification and the Grossmont District School Board Elections

From Dick Hoy - Vice President, Grossmont Union High School board of Trustees

The primary responsibility of school board trustees is to ensure a quality education for all students in their district.  In order to meet that goal they must see to the fiscal wellbeing of the district’s annual operating budget as well as the proper utilization of bond funds.  Unfortunately the current election and the potential unification of Alpine threaten the financial stability of the Grossmont district as well as the quality of education for all its students.

Bond Proposition U, passed in 2008, called for the building an 800 student high school in Alpine contingent upon the enrollment at the 9 comprehensive and 2 charter high schools being at the 2008 level when bids were let for the actual construction of the high school.   Between 2008-11, the purchase of a site was completed, permits were obtained, and school designs were prepared.  During that time enrollment was at or above the trigger number, but starting in 2012 declining enrollment hit the district hard.  Since construction bids had not been issued yet, the school was put on hold per the bond language.  Currently the district is over 2,000 students below the 2008 level.  Do you build a new high school when you have lost the equivalent of a high school?

The Alpine Union School District is also declining in enrollment at an alarming rate.  Today, Alpine can barely financially support its existing elementary schools. Its district finances are in shambles. This year’s fix is to reduce staff pay, decrease benefits, and shorten the school year for students. Only 6 months ago, Alpine experienced the first San Diego County teacher strike in 18 years. Can Alpine be trusted to build and staff a high school and meet increased operating expenses?

Education Code 35560 provides that a new Alpine Unified School District would be entitled the land purchased for the school, worth about $23 million, and less than $6 million in cash.  The proponents of Alpine unification, however, want the Grossmont district to handover the land and $70 million in cash so that they can build a high school.  They claim that, unless they get the entire amount, unification will be futile.  Where would that amount come from?  If it came from the yearly operating budget, the Grossmont District would go bankrupt.  If it came from bond funds it would not only circumvent Grossmont District voter approved bond language requiring a minimum enrollment, but would be far more money than was ever discussed for building the Alpine school during the 8 years that I have been on the board.  A third option, a combination of general funds and bond funds just compounds the problem for the 95% of the students who would remain in the Grossmont District.

What makes the unification proposal even worse is that its supporters want the unification election to include only Alpine residents.  The taxpayers of the entire district will be affected by unification.  Millions of dollars could be transferred to a new Alpine district and taxpayers throughout the Grossmont district will be on the hook for the bond payback for many years to come.  Shouldn’t all the district voters be given the right to vote on unification?  I certainly believe so.

Now we come to the current board elections.

Two candidates are siding with Alpine unification proponents and their effort to get some $70 million from district taxpayers while disenfranchising 95% of the voters.

Three candidates, Rob Shield, Jim Kelly, and Gary Woods want to protect the best interests of the Grossmont District and the 95% of the voters who reside outside of Alpine.  They want all district voters to weigh in on unification.  They care about the education of all students.  They want to protect Grossmont, Valhalla, El Cajon Valley, Helix, West Hills, El Capitan,  Santana, Steele Canyon, Granite Hills, Monte Vista and Mount Miguel high schools from the financial disruption that a unification settlement beyond that provided in the Ed. Code would cause.  I believe the choice is clear!  Shield, Kelly, and Woods for the Grossmont Union High School Board of Trustees.

Impact of an Alpine Injunction

Impact of Alpine Injunction  Page 1Impact of Alpine Injunction  Page 2Impact of Alpine Injunction  Page 3

Bargaining Update: October 13, 2014

Bargaining Update

October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014 - Bargaining Update

GEA Team: Linda Pierce (Bargaining Chair), Fran Zumwalt GEA President), Bryan Ross, Doug Coffin, James Messina, Jay Tweet, Angela Sciacqua-Smith, Laura Bowen (CTA)

District Team: Steve Sonnich (Assoc Supt, HR), Tim Schwuchow, John Rajcic, Robin Ballarin

GEA met with district representatives from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

1. Benefits

  • GEA and the district went over the minor changes in wording to the Aetna plans.

2. EL Coordinator

  • The district brought historical information on EL stipends and release periods.
  • GEA asked about current numbers of EL students per site.

3. IC Teacher Coaches

  • The district is looking at changes to the support system for Infinite Campus, will have an idea what the plan is on Oct 21.

4. Substitutes

  • Many teachers were asked to cover classes on their prep period on Friday, September 26.
  • Some teachers were paid to cover classes before having covered three classes without pay as set forth in the contract, and payroll refused to honor the time sheets.
  • The district will look into this and rectify the situation.

5. Counselors

  • The district still needs to look into the issue of paying counselors for packing and unpacking.
  • There will be clerical support to check the transcripts in Infinite Campus.
  • Counselor Ratios were discussed and the 500/1 maximum student/counselor ratio.


President's Message

GEA's Endorsed Candidates' Election Update

More than 100 GEA members have made thousands of phone calls encouraging voters to elect GARY WOODS and ROB SHIELD to the Grossmont School Board!

Over the next 21 days, even more GEA volunteers will do the same. Ask your GEA School Site Rep how you can help with phone calls in support of GARY WOODS and ROB SHIELD!

Also – Use your social media to help! Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Get some GEA members together, create a sign showing your support for Gary Woods and Rob Shield and snap a quick picture. Then post it on GEA's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gea.action
  • You can also share the message by posting your snap shot on your facebook cover image
  • Share the GEA Action Facebook page by posting it on your Facebook timeline.

Sample Facebook posts:

I stand with GEA members in support of the election of Gary Woods and Rob Shield to the Grossmont School Board.

GEA has my support in electing Gary Woods and Rob Shield to the Grossmont School Board. It impacts students, educators, and parents alike.

Join me and my colleagues in the Grossmont District. Elect Gary Woods and Rob Shield to the Grossmont District School Board!

In solidarity,

Fran Zumwalt
GEA President